Archive for Greg on the radio

We put the Pistons in our crosshairs last night on “The Knee Jerks, the weekly gabfest I co-host on Blog Talk Radio with Big Al Beaton, who’s rapidly beginning his own Internet writing empire.

That’s because our guest was beat writer Dave Pemberton of the Oakland Press, whose blog about the team can be found here.

Dave got us caught up on the latest news surrounding the possible sale of the team, went over his mid-season grades, and talked about the near and long term future of the REALLY Bad Boys. Chalk it up perhaps to his professionalism, but you’ll hear that Dave didn’t seem quite as visibly shaken as Al and I are about the Pistons’ future.

After Dave’s segment, Al and I plunged into the other hot topics around town—especially the Tigers, as their caravan makes its way around the state. We discussed their wild and wacky lineup, particularly who’s going to bat leadoff and No. 2. We also speculated about who the No. 5 starter might be, and why the Tigers don’t consider making someone (*cough* Carlos Guillen *cough*) a full-time DH. (Oh, and listen to Al’s proposal as to who should be the No. 2 hitter—verrry intriguing).

Finally, we roasted Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi for the very incendiary remarks he made about the U-M hockey program, coach Red Berenson, and how they supposedly retarded the development of Kings star Jack Johnson.

Then, as usual, we closed with our “Jerks of the Week.”

Some Highlights:

Big Al

On the Tigers: “You can’t play Gerald Laird as much as you did last year. He played too much in 2009. He can hit better, but he has to catch less.”

Also on the Tigers: “I like Ryan Raburn batting third. He has power and can maybe hit 25, 30 home runs.”

On the Red Wings: They’re getting players back. They’re going to be one scary SOB come playoff time.”



Eno

On the Tigers: “What in the world is wrong with having one guy being the full-time DH? Instead they’re going to do it by committee again. Too many people moving around the field, moving around the batting order.”

Also on the Tigers: “I’d like to see Nate Robertson seize that No. 5 spot in the rotation again. I like his bulldog mentality. For awhile, I thought his career might be over. But he seems healthy now.”

On Dean Lombardi: “There’s an unwritten rule that you don’t trash a university’s program. And he put his own player in an awkward situation as well. The only thing that keeps this from completely blowing up is that it’s the Los Angeles Kings, and who cares about THEM?”

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, for updates on scheduled guests, time changes, etc.

You can listen to the episode by clicking below!


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College basketball was in focus last night on “The Knee Jerks, the weekly gabfest I co-host on Blog Talk Radio with Big Al Beaton, who’s rapidly beginning his own Internet writing empire.

That’s because our guest was EMU men’s coach Charles Ramsey, who’s in his fifth year at the school in Ypsilanti.

The Eagles (9-7 overall; 1-2 in the MAC) feature no less than seven Metro Detroit players on their roster. Ramsey himself is an Ypsi kid who attended EMU and was an assistant there. He became the team’s head coach in March 2005.

Ramsey is full of energy and passion, and that came through in the interview. It was good stuff, as he talked about the team’s goals and how it can get back to the top of the MAC.

After coach, Al and I got down to business—literally. The finances of sports was the underlying theme in just about all of our topics. It was there when we talked about the Jose Valverde signing by the Tigers. It was present when the discussion turned to the future of the Pistons and Red Wings, as far as venue and, in the Pistons’ case, possible sale.

Finally, we roasted the NHL on their bungling of the shootout debacle in Dallas involving the Red Wings last Saturday. Then it was time for our “Jerks of the Week.”

Some Highlights:

Big Al

On the Pistons: “These aren’t the Clippers. The Pistons are worth a lot of money. But it looks like Karen Davidson doesn’t want to own a basketball team anymore.”

On the Tigers’ signing of Valverde: “This is sending mixed signals. I think it’s a waste of money.”

On the Red Wings’ situation: “It’s hard to believe, but Joe Louis Arena is a dinosaur, and it’s only 30 years old. The luxury suites are in the nosebleed section. Who ever thought they might partner with the Palace Sports and Entertainment people?”

Eno

On the Pistons: “Karen Davidson might end up selling just a portion of the team, not the whole thing. She shouldn’t be in a hurry, although I think the current state of the team might be hastening her decision to sell.”

On the Valverde signing: “Maybe there are other moves coming down the pike, that will make this make more sense. Right now it seems to fly in the face of the Curtis Granderson, ‘Let’s get cheaper and younger’ trade.”

On the shootout debacle: “There should only be two entities making decisions: the ref closest to the play, and the video review people. That’s it! If you start reversing decisions like that, then you’d better be really sure. And the ref who made the original call had the best view in the house!”

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, for updates on scheduled guests, time changes, etc.

Upcoming guests/topics:

Jan. 25: (guest TBD)

You can listen to the episode by clicking below!


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We left virtually no stone unturned last night on “The Knee Jerks, the weekly gabfest I co-host on Blog Talk Radio with Big Al Beaton, who’s rapidly beginning his own Internet writing empire.

That’s because our guest was WCSX morning sports guy Jamie Samuelsen, and between Jamie and our post-guest rants, just about everything got covered!

We talked Lions, Pistons, the Baseball Hall of Fame and Mark McGwire’s admission of steroid use with Jamie.

After that, Al and I skewered the Pistons, GM Joe Dumars, and coach John Kuester. I think only trainer Arnie Kander was spared our vitriol.

In fact, so voluminous was our ranting about the Pistons that by the time we were done, there was only time for our “Jerks of the Week.”

Some Highlights:

Big Al

On the Pistons: “I don’t like the rotation. They should be playing the kids more. How did Joe Dumars free up all that salary space and still end up with a lottery team?”

On coach John Kuester: “He’s grasping at straws. I think he’s overmatched. They’re built for running yet they play at a snail’s pace.”

Eno

On the Pistons: “They’re not even IN these games anymore. Forget the last time they won; when was the last time they were even in a game?”

On Kuester: “He scares me. He has his head…somewhere. This guy’s not with it. His team has no leadership. I hate to say it, but they may have to look for another coach after this season.”

On Dumars: “He’s been quiet, but maybe that’s because no one in the media is going after him. It’s amazing how he’s treated in this town.”

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, for updates on scheduled guests, time changes, etc.

Upcoming guests/topics:

Jan. 18: Big Ten and college basketball (guest TBD)

You can listen to the episode by clicking below!


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Happy New Year from “The Knee Jerks”!!

We decided to eschew (like that word?) a guest so that we could get caught up on some Detroit sports talk, last night on “The Knee Jerks, the weekly gabfest I co-host on Blog Talk Radio with Big Al Beaton, who’s rapidly beginning his own Internet writing empire.

All our teams except the Tigers got some generous air time. We started, naturally, with those lovable Lions.
We dissected the team’s 2009 season and the near future for about an hour, including giving a letter grade to rookie QB Matthew Stafford. Then, we talked Red Wings, with special emphasis on the resurgent Todd Bertuzzi and the surprising Jimmy Howard. We saved the Pistons for last, with us surmising whether GM Joe Dumars has it in him to author another rebuild.

Rants were aplenty last night!

We also each named our biggest sports story in Detroit in 2009 (hint: we both agreed!) before closing, as always with our “Jerks of the Week.”

Some Highlights:

Big Al

On the Lions’ off-season: “They have 24 free agents and will only realistically bring about six back. Can you imagine?!”

On Stafford: “He has ‘it.’ He looks like a quarterback. I think he can improve from a ‘C’ to a ‘B+’ or even ‘A-’ next year.”

On Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard: “Who would have thought that we’d be so impressed by Jimmy Howard at this time? He might be playing good enough to be the starter for the rest of the season.”

On Pistons GM Joe Dumars: “If you look back at his successful moves, you could say that some of them were kinda lucky.”

Eno

On Stafford: “The good thing about him is that what’s wrong with him is coachable. Plus, he knows he’s the No. 1 guy and doesn’t have to worry about all the draft hub-bub.”

On Red Wings forward Todd Bertuzzi: “He’s healthy, he’s happy, and he’s even playing well in his own zone. He’s playing the best hockey he’s played in years. If he didn’t get hot, the Red Wings would have been up you-know-what without a paddle.”

On Dumars: “I think he has to face some facts. He has to realize that his team is probably lottery-bound. But maybe he doesn’t even WANT to do a rebuild here. He likes winning too much.”

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, for updates on scheduled guests, time changes, etc.

Upcoming guests/topics:Jan. 11: WCSX radio sports guy Jamie Samuelsen

You can listen to the episode by clicking below!


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Put away the controllers and XBoxes and Playstations! We talked sports games last night—tabletop, board-game style—with Keith Avallone, owner of a website called www.plaay.com. At Keith’s site, you’ll find simulations of everything from roller derby to indoor lacrosse to, soon, hockey. That was our guest segment on “The Knee Jerks, the weekly gabfest I co-host on Blog Talk Radio with Big Al Beaton, who’s rapidly beginning his own Internet writing empire.

After talking “old school” sports gaming with Keith, Al and I roasted the Lions (as usual), and wondered whether Drew Stanton has a future in the NFL—with the Lions or anyone else.

We also blistered the Free Press and its decision to run an “All Decade” team for the Lions, with such notables as Tony Semple, Joey Harrington, and Todd Lyght on it. The All Decade coach was Steve Mariucci! Oy vay!

You also might want to hear my last rant of 2009—a 15-minute rampage on the Indy Colts and their decision to bench Peyton Manning on Sunday. It’s among my best, if I do say so myself!

Al included himself, indirectly, in his pick of “Jerk of the Week.”

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, for updates on scheduled guests, time changes, etc.

Upcoming guests/topics:

Jan. 4: Big Ten basketball preview (OR January 11)
You can listen to the episode by clicking below!


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Hockey took center ice, so to speak, last night on “The Knee Jerks, the weekly gabfest I co-host on Blog Talk Radio with Big Al Beaton, who’s rapidly beginning his own Internet writing empire.

We held our much anticipated NHL Central Roundtable, in which we hosted Bleacher Report writers from Chicago, Columbus, and Nashville. Our St. Louis guy had a conflict and couldn’t participate.

Joining us were Tab Bamford (Blackhawks), Ed Cmar (Blue Jackets), and Mark Willoughby (Predators). Each one of those guys were extremely knowledgeable and provided excellent analysis of their respective teams. We went a good 50 minutes and could easily have taken up the entire show time with that discussion.

But what would an episode of “The Knee Jerks” be without Al and me ripping on the Lions?

QB Daunte Culpepper was our target, with both of us agreeing that he should never take another snap in a Lions uniform. Al ranted about “moral victories” and I countered with one about fans who want the Lions to lose for “draft positioning.”

With the holiday approaching and it being a relatively quiet week around Detroit sports—and having discussed the Red Wings in the roundtable—we wrapped up a bit earlier than our usual two-hour allotment. Not before choosing our Jerks of the Week, of course!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, for updates on scheduled guests, time changes, etc.

Upcoming guests/topics:

Dec. 28: Tabletop sports game creator and business owner Keith Avallone

Jan. 4: Big Ten basketball preview


You can listen to the episode by clicking below!


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We took a step outside the box last night on “The Knee Jerks, the weekly gabfest I co-host on Blog Talk Radio with Big Al Beaton, who’s rapidly beginning his own Internet writing empire.

It was our first show at our new 9:00 p.m. ET time slot, and our guest was professional sports photographer Greg Shamus, who’s the official team photographer for the Pittsburgh Penguins (relax, he’s a Detroiter), along with snapping shots for Getty Images and the NBA.

Greg took us behind the scenes in the life of a sports shutterbug and it was quite interesting. As Al said afterward, we could have gone longer than the allotted 45 minutes with Mr. Shamus.

After Greg left us, Al and I chomped into some meaty Detroit sports stories—don’t forget, we were off last week due to some faulty plumbing in the Beaton household.

First up was the big Tigers trade last week that sent Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson to the Yankees and Diamondbacks, respectively. We both bemoaned the apparent lack of offense, and wrung our hands over the back end of the bullpen, with Brandon Lyon in Houston and Fernando Rodney practically out the door.

And it just wouldn’t be an episode of “The Jerks” without several rants on the Lions, who provided us with plenty of material in the wake of their 48-3 thumping at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens.

We even got our “Jerks of the Week” in before time expired at 11:00—which is when we used to START the show.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, for updates on scheduled guests, time changes, etc.

Upcoming guests/topics:

Dec. 21: NHL Central roundtable with Bleacher Report writers from Columbus, Chicago, Nashville, and St. Louis (rescheduled from 12/7)

Dec. 28: Tabletop sports game creator and business owner Keith Avallone

Some highlights from Monday’s show:

Big Al

On the Tigers: “They’re going to have to win every game 1-0, 2-1! Granderson was a good player, but not a great player. And baseball people say the Tigers made a good trade in getting Max Scherzer for Edwin Jackson.”

On the Lions: “I think Jim Schwartz had his first ‘Bobby Ross moment’ in the postgame presser.”

On Drew Stanton not playing: “It shows that the Lions don’t think he can play in the NFL.”


Eno

On the Tigers trade: “Makes me long for the days when you made trades based on baseball, not on contract status.”

On the Lions: “Daunte Culpepper has as much chance of returning to Detroit as Stroh’s. Why was he in the entire game when the Lions were losing by 45 points?”

On Jason Hanson’s rough year: “I’m uncomfortable saying that he’s finished, because he had a good year last year with all the 50-yard field goals. And he’s only 38 or 39, which is young in ‘kicker years.’”

You can listen to the episode by clicking below!


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First, a semi-major announcement: “The Knee Jerks” will be moving up a couple of hours!

Beginning December 14, you’ll be able to get your jerkosity two hours earlier. The show will debut its new 9:00-11:00 ET time slot, so everyone can get some sleep on Monday nights!

Thanks to the Thanksgiving holiday and all the hoopla surrounding it, time just wasn’t there to pursue any guests, so it was just Al Beaton and me for last night’s installment of “The Knee Jerks, our weekly gabfest on Blog Talk Radio.

But that’s OK—if you know us, you know that we can fill a 90-minute time slot, no problem!

First up: the Lions, and their Turkey Day performance. We started by warning the NFL to keep its mitts off the game in Detroit. Then we broke down Matthew Stafford’s day (should he have played?) and once again Al brought out his “this team is cursed” concern, re: TE Brandon Pettigrew being out for the season with a torn ACL. And, once again, I as the “voice of reason” debunked that theory!

We then expressed concern over the officiating in the NFL, particularly when it comes to supposed “leading with the helmet” hits and phantom pass interference calls.

Next, we talked about Charlie Weis getting the ziggy at Notre Dame. It gave me an opportunity to issue a warning about Michigan’s program.

The Pistons were up next and they got a little more than garbage time, for a change. Our thoughts? That coach John Kuester might be learning how to be a head coach in the NBA faster than he imagined, thanks to all the injuries forcing him to change his lineup, rotation, etc.

Lastly, it was time for our “Jerks of the Week.” As usual, Al broke me up with the way he spoke about his selection!

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, for updates on scheduled guests, time changes, etc.

Upcoming guests/topics:

Dec. 7: NHL Central roundtable with Bleacher Report writers from Columbus, Chicago, Nashville, and St. Louis (our last 11:00 p.m. show!)

Dec. 14: Gregory Shamus, one of the best sports photographers you’ll ever know (Getty Images, Pittsburgh Penguins, Red Wings, Cleveland Cavaliers, and others); don’t forget—this will be our first 9:00 show!

Dec. 21: TBD (our Christmas wishes for some of Detroit’s coaches and athletes?)


Some highlights from Monday’s show:

Big Al

On the Thanksgiving Day game: “This is just a yearly column that gets trotted out. Something ‘evergreen’ for the writers.”

On Daunte Culpepper: “It looked like he was pouting on the sidelines. I wonder if the Lions should just cut bait with this guy. He had a showcase opportunity in Chicago but he tanked.”

On Notre Dame: “I think Notre Dame isn’t going to be able to get the coach that it wants. That program needs to make a decision about the direction it wants to go in. The next coach has to come in and compete for national championships.”

Eno

On the Lions: “Maybe in retrospect, they should have just cut Daunte Culpepper after the exhibition season. I think the Lions used Daunte, to a degree—to give Stafford a veteran presence and help him learn Scott Linehan’s offense. I don’t think the starting job was EVER as hotly contested as it was portrayed to be.”

On whether Stafford should have played on Thanksgiving: “The doctors said he wouldn’t really risk further injury. It was a ‘pain management’ issue. And just because he started the game, didn’t mean he had to finish it, necessarily. What are you holding him back for? He needs to play as much as possible so he can learn.”

On Notre Dame: “I hate to say it, but if you’re a Michigan fan, and you want to see what your program might look like in three years, look at Notre Dame right now. Because unless Rich Rodriguez finds success in a hurry, Michigan is going to end up like Notre Dame: a cautionary tale.”

You can listen to the episode by clicking below!


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Nov
24

Last Night on “The Knee Jerks”: A Football Extravaganza!

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First, a semi-major announcement: “The Knee Jerks” will be moving up a couple of hours!

Beginning December 14, you’ll be able to get your jerkosity two hours earlier. The show will debut its new 9:00-11:00 ET time slot, so everyone can get some sleep on Monday nights!

The Michigan Wolverines and MSU Spartans just finished their football seasons, so it was the perfect time to do a post-mortem. Our guests were Andy Reid, sports editor of the Michigan Daily (U’M’s student newspaper) and Bleacher Report’s  Nick Mordowanec, who writes about MSU frequently.

Andy and Nick provided us with solid analysis of U-M and MSU, respectively, along with taking a look ahead at both programs’ futures. Big Al almost totally stopped Andy in his tracks when he asked him whether he thought Rich Rodriguez was the right man for Michigan. I guess you’ll just have to listen to find out what Andy finally said in response!

After talking college football, Al and I turned our attention to the pro game—specifically, the Lions’ improbable 38-37 win over Cleveland, a.k.a. the Coming Out of Matthew Stafford.

Thirty minutes later, we drifted over to the Red Wings and the latest injury—to defenseman Niklas Kronwall, thanks to a dirty, knee-on-knee hit by Montreal’s George Laraque.

The Pistons then made a rare appearance on “The Jerks,” for about five minutes of garbage time!

But that’s OK—the Pistons will be the focus of our show next week!

As always, we closed with a flurry, in the form of our “Jerks of the Week.”

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, for updates on scheduled guests, time changes, etc.

Upcoming guests/topics:

Nov. 30: Guest(s) TBD (Pistons-related)
Dec. 7: NHL Central roundtable with Bleacher Report writers from Columbus, Chicago, Nashville, and St. Louis
Dec. 14: Gregory Shamus, one of the best sports photographers you’ll ever know (Getty Images, Pittsburgh Penguins, Red Wings, Cleveland Cavaliers, and others); don’t forget—this will be our first 9:00 show!

Some highlights from Monday’s show:

Big Al

On Matthew Stafford: “This was like a Disney film! Like a script! At least it looks like the Lions have found their answer at quarterback and now they can turn their attention to other things.”

On the NHL suspension of Laraque for five games: “You almost want to go to an ‘eye for an eye’ way of punishment. Five games was ridiculous.”

On the Pistons: “(Coach) John Kuester is really hamstrung because he doesn’t have Rip Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince. But there’s no way they’re going to win anywhere close to 50 games.”

Eno

On the Lions: “I don’t think they’ll lay an egg on Thanksgiving. Maybe they can build on Sunday’s win, but they’ve never come off a win like that before.”

On the NHL: “Once again they’ve put themselves in a trick box. The five-game suspension is too low. It should have been 15, 20 games. They’ve set a bad precedent.”

On the Pistons: “I like this rookie Jonas Jerebko. He’s not a true starter, but he’s getting invaluable experience against other teams’ No. 1 units.”

You can listen to the episode by clicking below!


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It’ll be a cornucopia of football tonight on “The Knee Jerks,” the weekly Blog Talk Radio gabfest I co-host with Big Al Beaton of The Wayne Fontes Experience .

Tonight we’ll give post-mortems on the recently completed U-M and MSU football regular seasons, with help from Andy Reid, sports editor of the Michigan Daily (U’M's student newspaper) and B/R’s own Nick Mordowanec, who writes about MSU frequently.

Al and I will also give our takes on the Lions’ thrilling, improbable win yesterday against the Browns.

It all starts at 11 PM ET LIVE. The chat room will be open!

Go to www.blogtalkradio.com/thekneejerks and register. It only takes a minute and then you can join us in the chat room.

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